The Dallas Cowboys have some obvious problems and a majority of them can be attributed to one thing: the offensive line.
Certainly there were other areas that deserve some blame in the area of performance when it comes to this team’s 23-20 win over the Cleveland Browns Nov. 18, including the lack of consistent pressure by the defensive front seven until late in the game, porous play by the secondary and an anemic running game. Instead of celebrating a victory, the Dallas coaching staff is more concerned about correcting exposed problems, and rightfully so.
This piece mill offensive line is at the core of a lot of problems. Even with DeMarco Murray in the lineup, the Cowboys rushing game hasn’t produced. Sure there are glimpses of what could be, but those are inconsistent flashes.
Tony Romo is pelted week-in and week-out as the flag bearer of what is wrong with the Dallas Cowboys because of what is perceived to be erratic play. The game against Cleveland is as good an example of what Romo has to overcome each week just to give Dallas a chance to win. Is he too loose with the ball? Yes, and that, in my estimation, is because he is still looking to make something happen in the passing game when he is scrambling. That does lead to turnovers, but it also leads to some pretty spectacular plays that not too many quarterbacks in this league can do.
Romo was sacked a career-high seven times. That’s not a reflection of Romo; it’s a reflection of a make-shift offensive line. The lack of a running game can be placed partly on those toting the ball, but the majority of it has to be on the lack of push by the O-line.
I understand that injuries happen and it’s always a “next-man-up” type of league. That comes with the territory. What bothers me is it appears Dallas has not prepared or nurtured the next guy on the depth chart. They have done a poor job at developing quality offensive linemen over recent years that could step in when needed and perform well.
I would like to give the group and Bill Callahan the benefit of the doubt. I really would. Callahan can teach specifics of the game, but it’s up to the players to execute. Hopefully this was a one-time mish mash of linemen just to make it through what should have been a fairly easy win. I fear this might be the norm for the rest of the season, especially during the perceived weakest part of the schedule.
The Washington Redskins will test that offensive line on Turkey Day, especially if it’s the same one fielded Sunday. With just a couple days of preparation, I’m not so sure it can be done.
Hopefully Callahan can use his mastery of the offensive line to generate what can turn into, in a football-strictly manner, a thankful day on the field.